Bag, Bags and More Bags

I am always on the hunt for hand bags, purses, accessories that hold more accessories, by whatever name you call them, they are essentially bags.   Here are some of my favorite hand crafted bags made in America.  My criteria, you ask… well… Leather construction, bags must be lined, have a good shape and plenty of room.  (Each image is a link to where you can purchase the bag, if you are so inclined)

Double Zipper Bag in Sand

Madeline Chadwick Handbags Based in Los Angeles

Genuine leather. Silver hardware. Two open interior pockets and one zipper pocket. Custom lining.


SALE - Ready to ship - Larch leather bag in black

Handmade by ValhallaBrooklyn     Larch bag in buttery soft and sturdy black pebble grain premium grade cow hide


Everyday Bag

Handmade by ContraBandCouture      Butterscotch brown with, Two pockets on the faux gator inserts outside,  front and back along with three pockets on the inside paisley print lining.



Red Rose & Thorn Lasercut Lambskin Leather Ruffle Crossbody Bag

Handmade by DahlingAccessories

Red rose super soft lambskin lined with gray woven fabric. Ruffle flap at front with steel spike details.  Inside flap is grey Italian leather. Magnetic snap closure. Red leather reinforced crossbody strap that can be tied at end to adjust length. Inner pocket.   Fully lined. Dahling satin inside label on pocket.


Luella Bag Custom Color Option

Handmade by LolaFalkDesigns and made to order  Custom color bag

Exterior: Leather
Lining and Interior Pocket: Cotton
Closure: Metal Zipper
Adjustable Strap: Leather (can be lengthened/shortened to be worn cross-body or over shoulder)


Die Cut Fabric easy

Are you a scrapbooker that has invested in one of the die cutting systems like Sizzix or one of the others?   Are you looking to stretch how you use this equipment?   Wow, I am starting to sound like a company rep!

Ok, I have a couple of these die cut pieces of equipment and I love them.   I found out recently that the quilting world has one as well for cutting fabric.   This made me wonder if the one I have for paper would cut fabric.   It does.   It opened a whole new world for me, it made me think about how I could use fabric instead of paper for projects.

Now here is the disclaimer, that I do this at my own risk to damage to my dies.  If you choose to do this and it results in damage to your dies etc, I am not liable.  It is your choice to do so.

First iron a sewable fusible on the back of your fabric.   Cut the fabric into pieces the size of your die.   Run it through your machine.   VIOLA! you now have a pre-cut fusible that you can iron onto any other fabric.

I used sewable fusible because I wanted to be able to sew through the applique after it was applied, without gumming up my machine needle.

With some of the letter embroidery sewing machines out there, you could embroider the fabric, apply the fusible, then die cut out any shape you have on hand.

Too much fun!!!

Creating, Creating, Creating…. with Paper

I have always loved paper, I love the feel of paper, I love the smell of paper and I truly love the versatility of paper.   Paper can become so many things and mean so much.  I always wonder who and how the first bits of paper were made.  I know that as far back as Egyptian times they were we writing on fibers and making papers.    I have dabbled in making paper several times and enjoyed doing it.   My favorite was when I decided that I was going to make use of all of the junk mail I kept getting.   I began shredding all of my junk mail, envelope and credit card applications and sales flyers etc.  It was not long before I had bags and bags of shredded paper.   I than began throwing it in a blender with some water and unflavored Gelatin.    I had read that the gelatin would hold everything together along with the fibers all interweaving together.   I wound up with some pretty amazing paper pulp (after a LOT of blending).     I made several batches of paper but my fave was the one I added a tiny bit of green food coloring to.   In that batch I threw in some dried flowers, some green food color, and some other twiggy like fibers I had lying around.    All of my  8 x 11 sheets came out a pale green with lots of texture.  I thought they were fabulous!   I little hard to write on, but they went through my inkjet printer rather nicely.   I will have to do that again, perhaps next summer would be good.  I found it best to do this outside, that way I did not worry about spillage or mess.   Memories of my handmade paper are good ones and fit right in with my latest endeavor of paper creations.   I discovered (drum roll puleeze)  embossing!   I have gone a bit overboard in collecting little embossing folders that I put paper in then crank through my little roller machine.   I never get tired of seeing the end product!   I have made tags, lots of tags, many experimental and some that have made it to my Etsy site.    Did I tell you I also love to package these up, and make then pretty so that when people get them I hope they will like them as much as I do.  I only wish I could give as many gifts as I make tags for because then I could gift wrap with paper too.   Ahhh…. so much paper and so little time!

Of course I must share some pictures of my paper creations!

A little bit of everything for your summer vacay or staycation. . .

As we head into the weekend, I realize that it is the middle of July.  We are past celebrations for the 4th, and there are no major holidays until Labor day.   Many are almost ready to go on their annual vacation, whether that be a staycation or a trip to the coast or to visit family, we all want to have some fun.   I was thinking about our annual trip to the Oregon Coast where we relax and just enjoy our selves for a couple of weeks.   I always take lots of different things to play with while we are there, and for me that means being crafty, or arty in some way.   This made me think about what types of supplies I might want to take with me and of course I went on a search of Etsy.    Here are a few of the items I found that would be good to take along…

For the sewer/quilter:

Nature Inspired Collection by Windham.  

Riley Blake Happier Sampler

For the jewelry maker:

Lucite Pansy Flower Beads – Mixed Color

AAA – Mixed Precious Rondelles – Ruby, Emerald and Sapphires – 1/2 Strand

For the cook:

Vintage Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book circa 1953

For the knitter/Crocheter:

Worsted weight Sock Yarn, Hand Dyed Merino Wool Tweed Randomly Variegated Vermillion, Dusty Rose and Burgundy 4 oz. 200 yards

Hand Dyed Worsted Weight Yarn – Mission Fig

Oregon Timber Brown DK Alpaca Yarn (50 g)

And finally for the scrap booker:


If you need a project check out Red heart for free crochet and knitting patterns!
Here is a 3 part tutorial on making resin jewelry:
Part 1:
Part 2
Part 3:

Creating something from seemingly nothing…

I thought I would post about my recent need to create something from nothing.   Usually this means sewing or working with Yarn or beads.   Lately it has been working with yarn.   I have always loved all of the different yarns available and the colors, they are beautiful.   They come in so many types from very fuzzy to what appears to be twine or string.  Each has its own properties that make it work for a particular purpose.

I started on this latest endeavor by making dish cloths (yes I said dishcloths) to use in my kitchen.  I wanted something bright and pretty that would clean dishes really well.   There is just something great about a 100% cotton crocheted dish cloth that makes cleaning easier and (somehow) more fun.   It is so very utilitarian but it brightens up your kitchen, it soaks up messes, it resists becoming smelly and well, it just works!   So I started creating one for the kitchen and before I knew it I had made 12.   I started with one that was kind of square with a bit of decorative crochet around the four edges.   Thinking that the edges would let me hang it to dry.  Of course I had no idea what I was going to hang it on, but I didn’t think of that until later.

The next type I made were, to my eyes, much prettier.   They have a very ruffly edge at both ends that is quite decorative when hung over the center of the sink to dry (see I did get more practical).    I like them the best!   So, knowing I only could use a few of them, I took the rest down to the Odgepodge in town (Odgepodge is the all around art gallery, antique/vintage, handmade shop in Sherwood).   I put them out for sale and within 3 days there were only 4 left to sell!   (I admit that the ones left ARE the the ones I wasn’t so sure about).   So now I think I need to make more because there is obviously a great need for these in the world.

Tomorrow we will talk about what I started making from yarn next.. . .

Day to Day

Well it is back to the day job this week which is a good thing, I always feel lucky that I have a steady income when some others are not so lucky.   This has not stopped the creation of items interesting to me though.   I recently posted some washing cloths on Etsy that are hand crocheted that I truly enjoyed making.    I am working on a new set that are snow white in color.  There is something about pure bright white that is a pleasure to work with and looks so fresh.   I have been using these in my kitchen for quite some time and really liked how they function for cleaning.   They hold soap well and scrub better then regular kitchen dish cloths.   I decided to add the border on these to allow for them to be hung to dry by the corner or the side or wherever… 

New Years Eve, Eve

OK, yesterday was a fabulous day. Our visit to Scrap was wonderful, it was a very good SCRAP day. Picked up some great stuff which included 2 books. both in excellent condition. One was Soft Furnishings for your home which had some nice techniques for slip covers and blinds, which I want to use to make some changes around the house. The other one covered one of my favorite crafts, cloth doll making. I am a fan of sculptured dolls and I actually think of then as art dolls as they are not really a childs plaything (although Raggedy Ann will remain my favorite all time doll) but they are fun to make and the results can be fantastic. I am so looking forward to picking up some new techniques from this one.
Scrap also had some silver foil labels and wonderful high end stationary paper for the computer and a couple of metal tea tins (great storage). I cannot forget the Amy Butler pattern box which looks brand new and has several different pattern cards inside. My friends picked up some wonderful stuff as well. Its great being green and it makes one feel better that your going to use something that someone else had the presence of mind to donate vs throwing away.

After Scrap we headed for Knitt’n Kitten and had a wonderful visit with Ethel who runs the shop. They had a great selection fabrics, I picked up 3 yards of a hand dye for $3.50. She also had a great selection of Czech glass buttons that I know I can incorporate into my jewelry as well as some vintage glass beads and some stone beads. She also had some wonderful sari silk yarn ( I use the word yarn loosely) I was very happy to see this, as I use it to make fiber necklaces and have been afraid of running out. 4 skeins of beautiful wool multi color woven yarn at an unbelievable price per skein. I may use this for either some necklaces or my daughter may take it and make something fabulous.   She also had a good selection of used craft books. I picked up a couple back issues of stringing magazine and a book called crochet squared whcih has some wonderful shawl and wrap patterns in it. Although I did not make any purchases from the Vintage linens room, there were some great items in there. A lot of crocheted doilies but also many aprons and table coverings, some of which had been cross stitched by hand in elaborate designs.

After this we were starving! Stopped for lunch at a place called the Hutch, which I do not think we will ever return to. Food was not very good and the drinks (teas, soda etc) were also not good, all tasted like they had something else in them.

Then on our way home we hit Village Beads in Multnomah Village. Great bead shop!! Where as we were making our purchases she mentioned that they had classes and that in fact they had a resin jewelry class that very evening! We jumped on it and signed up immediately. We ran home and dropped off one friend who needed to get home, then raced back to the bead shop for class. What a WONDERFUL class! We made a two pieces each. We picked out our own pendant to fill with doo-dads and resin. We both chose a copper pendant and a glass concave lens (that we can wire wrap later). She has some great stuff on hand to incorporate into our works of art. I think they turned out great! We will pick them up on Friday once they have set up a bit. I will take a picture then so everyone can see the results. I will definitely go back to this shop, they not only have a beautiful shop but a lot of their inventory is very reasonably priced.

After class we were once again hungry and tired. We stopped at the next place that looked appealing on the way home. Old World Pub and brewery. We were pleasantly surprised. Wonderful food, and ale! It was the perfect end to a wonderfully fun day!

Wish you all could have been there… Peace.